Toronto Life On-Line Exclusive – October 2006
“Home made success: One woman’s real estate windfall”
Call it Debra Gould‘s $90,000 touch. That’s about how much the 47-year-old made getting out of the Toronto real estate market— and what she made when she got back in four years later.
Her first windfall came in 1998 when the then-marketing consultant decided to downsize so that she could pursue a new career as an artist. She’d been in her three-bedroom detached Beach home for almost two years, during which time she’d given the tired space a rejuvenating lift with new lighting, some paint and a modest kitchen reno.
With her marketing background and her eye for decor, she knew how to style the home to show it at its best, rearranging furniture and hanging art for added effect. Her efforts paid off: the house sold for almost $90,000 more than she had paid two years earlier.
Four years— and three cities— later, Gould was eyeing a return to Toronto. But it was 2002 and the market had changed, with prices higher and bargains tougher to find. . . . she started tracking homes in her price rnage and watching what they sold for. As her knowledge-base grew, so did her abilitiy to spot a good deal. It wasn’t long before something caught her eye.
. . . The three-bedroom semi was listed at $259,000, when others like it were going on the market for $299,900 and selling, she says, at around $310,000. . . . Within 24 hours, Gould was in Toronto at the agent open-house with an inspector in tow. . . .